Building a Successful Career in the Music Industry

For those who love music, working in the music industry can be a very attractive career choice. But how does someone with a passion for music turn that passion into a marketable skill set that will impress potential employers? You can take many paths toward a career in the music industry, but a little bit of planning and forethought can definitely help jump-start your career.

Choosing an aspect of the industry that suits both your skills and career goals is a clear first step. But how do you choose? And what is the next step? Whether you wish to work in nonprofit arts presenting, publishing, artist management, or any other music field, getting a solid education in music business and administration can give you the necessary skills and knowledge to move ahead and be successful. And combining that education with real-world experience can help you strengthen and apply those skills immediately, while developing a deep understanding and competence in your area of the music industry.

What Music Industry Career Is Right for Me?

What do you love about music? What are you good at? How much money do you want to make? If all you can imagine doing in life is performing as a musician, your path is clear. But most musicians never achieve the level of success necessary to make a living out of it. That being said, some musicians are good songwriters, which might make them a good fit for publishing and songwriting work.

Or maybe you love your local music scene and know everyone in it. Maybe you are a whiz at stirring up buzz through social media. In that case, music marketing and promotion could be a perfect fit. Connect the music you love with fans who will love it too. Do you love traveling and meeting people in different places? Are you good at logistics, time management, and the like? You could combine your passion and skills into a career as a tour manager. The career possibilities in the music industry are seemingly endless. Narrowing it down to the type of job you think you would like and be good at is an important aspect of building a successful music career.

How Can Going Back to School Help Me Pursue My Music Career?

Unfortunately, just loving music and thinking you could be good at something is usually not enough to get a good job. Specialized music jobs require specialized skills, knowledge, training and experience, and employers are usually looking for all of those things in job applicants. Furthering your education in music business and administration can help you develop this combination of job-specific skills and knowledge.

The Frost School of Music’s Master of Arts in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management degree program provides degree candidates with real-world experience along with a foundation of knowledge in many aspects of the music industry. And, because it’s an online graduate degree program, candidates enrolled in the Frost School of Music can work in the industry while earning their degree concurrently, which would allow them to apply what they learn immediately.

How Do I Get My First Music Industry Job?

So you have chosen the area of the music industry that you would like to work in. And you have learned everything you need to know for that job. Now, how do you get the job? Getting your first music job can be tough if you do not have a solid resume of previous work experience. Employers want to know that you have what it takes to help their business succeed.

The music industry relies on relationships between people: booking agents working with venues, promoters working with local media, publishers working with artists and movie makers, and so on. Along with a good education, degree programs like Frost’s connect you with a network of reputable professionals in the industry. Those connections can be essential. Having a strong reference from a professional in the industry is a great selling point in landing that first job.

The music world is an exciting industry to be a part of, although it is not necessarily the easiest to get a job in. Getting into the industry takes a lot of hard work. But with determination, clear goals, and the necessary education and experience, you can set yourself up for success in a rewarding, fun and music-filled career.

Learn more about the Frost online MA in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management.

Sources: An Insider’s Guide on How to Get Your First Job in the Music Industry

The Balance: Choosing a Music Career 101

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